IRELAND - The €21.3bn National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) is examining investments in cluster bomb manufacturers, following the Irish government's participation in an agreement to prohibit such weapons production.

Adrian O'Donovan, a senior manager with the Irish fund told IPE: "In the light of the government's commitment, we are in discussion with the department of finance as to how companies involved in the manufacturing of cluster bombs can be removed from the fund."

Further details on how the NPRF will start divesting still have to be finalised, he added.

The fund has a standard commercial investment mandate, not defined by any particular social responsible investment clauses, though it is a signatory to the United Nations' Principles of Responsible Investments.

In July, the fund tapped Hermes to engage companies across its portfolio.

Still, O'Donovan said: "We would have some investments in companies that are involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs, both through our index portfolios and through our active managers."

The NPRF says it invests around €28m in companies that have been excluded from the Norwegian Government Fund's black list of companies it has excluded.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs will organise the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions from May 19 to negotiate a new instrument of international humanitarian law banning cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.

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